For centuries, people have gathered in cities. Yet, in that time, the concept and design of these metropolises remained largely the same. However, as tech, the internet, and computers have become an increasingly important part of industry (and, particularly the planning and construction industries), our cities of the future could look very different to those we have now.

Front and center of these anticipated changes is the acceptance of changing lifestyles and the altering ambitions of citizens. Moreover, with the increasing awareness of the impact our cities can have on the environment (as well as pressure from the growing green movement), it seems highly likely that future city planning and building projects will take a vastly different approach to those of old.

The Growth of Cities

It’s expected that the majority of people will call a city their home in the future, so there’s a growing emphasis to concentrate more on usability and lifestyle – even in the construction that is happening now.

With growing populations will come increased road and transport use, making the planning process (such as right-of-way surveys in Missouri) even more essential to get right to ensure free and easy passage across these growing cities. A rise in autonomous, self-driving vehicles is also predicted.

The Birth of the Smart City

Tech isn’t just changing the way construction is happening these days – it’s also shaping our understanding of how people live and use a city’s facilities. For example, there is a growing use of the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) to interpret how people behave in a city with the data then being used to plan future projects and buildings to suit usage, rather than just design aesthetics.

The term IoT essentially describes an interconnected network of smart devices that are capable of capturing, relaying, and interpreting data and is already being used by some more forward-thinking cities to anticipate and relieve traffic congestion. For example, with the IoT model (coupled with Artificial Intelligence (AI), it’s possible to fully automate traffic signals based on information received from cameras, sensors and cellphone GPS data, thereby reducing traffic jams at peak times. IoT-driven streetlights are also expected, with the ability to react to situations around them – for example, glowing brighter if more people are in a specific area at a specific time.

Building Underground

Space always has been (and always will be) at a premium in our cities, so there is a growing movement to build down, rather than the traditional notion of building towards the sky. Building underground offers considerable cost savings – not least by removing the need for foundations – but it is also seen as a green alternative to building upwards. Indeed, the trend is already gaining pace in cities like Singapore that have successfully built data centers and warehouses underground, thereby saving space while also reducing heating and cooling bills.

Mixed-Use Cities

The cities of the future will place more emphasis on the contentment of individuals and communities to give multi-purpose areas – for example, by mixing residential and commercial premises more while also improving quality of life with more parks and public amenities readily available.

Image credit: Tom Chen via Unsplash

About The Author

Avatar photo